Sunday, April 6, 2014

Beautiful Destruction


Beautiful Destruction
12x16 inches
Watercolor on Paper

I've been trying to incorporate more of an abstract style into my art, merging abstract with realism.  I used surgical gauze and plastic wrap on this piece to create the abstract background - it was a bit of an experiment but I real like the organic patterns that were created with this technique.  What do you think?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The 2014 Uptown Art Expo


What a fantastic weekend!  This weekend was the Uptown Art Expo at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs, Florida.  I was fortunate enough to win the poster contest for the art festival, which came with a cash prize and a free booth spot.  The photo above is of me and Jim Barton, the festival organizer, next to the banner on the stage with my artwork on it.  It was an amazing experience!  



The excitement started on Friday, when I did an interview on Fox 35 News to promote the festival.  On Saturday morning we set up and had an amazing start but by 2pm, bad weather moved in.  Tornado warnings and bad thunder storms were in the area so we had to quickly tare down and pack up for the rest of the day.  But Sunday...Sunday was amazing!  The weather was perfect - clear skies, perfect temps, and lots of friends, family, and art lovers filled the street. 

I feel truly blessed to have such a wonderful support system.  My husband helped me with everything - setting up, packing up, and manning the booth.  My parents drove up to watch our boys.  And so many amazing friends came out to support me.  I am humbled by how supportive everyone was.  I signed posters and made some great sales.  GOD IS GOOD!  










Thursday, March 27, 2014

Florida Strawberries


Florida Strawberries
9x12 inches
Watercolor on Paper

Here are two more paintings - one watercolor and one acrylic of the same subject matter...this time - STRAWBERRIES!  They are my favorite fruit and have been as long as I can remember.  Which one do you prefer, the acrylic or watercolor?


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Take On Me


Take On Me
12x16 inches
Watercolor on Paper

Take On Me is the winning name from my title contest!  Thanks so much for participating everyone!  

Florida Oranges Watercolor


Florida Oranges Watercolor
9x12 inches
Watercolor on Paper

After taking a stab at those oranges in acrylic, I wanted to see what the same painting would like like painted in watercolor.  What do you think?  Which medium do you prefer?


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Florida Oranges Acrylic


Florida Oranges Acrylic
5x7 inches
Acrylic on Wrapped Canvas


A few days ago, I went to my friend Matt's house to celebrate his birthday and he sent me home with a box of canvases.  I am so thankful!  I don't have much experience painting with acrylic paints so this painting was a new adventure for me.  I kept using way too much water, saving my whites, etc.  I'm quite pleased with the way this painting turned out, considering my lack of experience but I have lots of learning to do!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Painting Title Contest


I'm having a title contest for this painting of my youngest son.  I hope you'll participate.  Feel free to join the poll and my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/heathertorresart

Monday, February 10, 2014

Grand Turk Conch


Grand Turk Conch
12x16 inches
Watercolor on Paper
Click Here to Buy

A few months ago, my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary by taking a cruise to the eastern Caribbean.  We had so much fun.  Our last stop of the cruise was on the island of Grand Turk of the Turks and Caicos.  The sand was white, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and we spent the day lounging on the beach.  Right after we got there, we walked the beach and found two young boys bringing in conch shells from the ocean.  They couldn't have been older than 7 or 8 years old.  They were selling them to tourists.  As a Floridian, I didn't have a need for shells but they proudly let me take a photo of their finds.  The photo of these three shells was one of my favorite photos from our trip.  Now I have a painting to match!

Friday, January 31, 2014

At First Sight



At First Sight
Watercolor on Paper
12x12 inches

I couldn't paint one of my boys without painting the other!  This is my sweet, youngest boy.  I took a photo of him with a baby chicken at a farm that we went to for his third birthday.  I've been wanting to paint this piece for awhile.  I love the photo!  That poor baby chick.  He was holding on to it tightly because he didn't want it to squirm out of his little hands.  He just loved it!  What a great memory.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Humor Me


Humor Me
6x9 inches
Watercolor on Paper

This portrait is of my five year old son, who is quite convincing when he tells you he doesn't want to take a photo!  Again, working on developing my portrait skills.  I think I'm getting better!  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Indiffrent

Indifferent
6x9 inches
Watercolor on Paper

Finally a self-portrait that I like!  I've really been working on my portrait skills the past couple weeks and this is the first one that I think actually looks like me.  A friend told me that I look too serious and that it doesn't match my personality but I was going for serious so mission accomplished, I guess!  I'm already laying down pencil for the next portrait.  Could 2014 be the year of the portrait?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Unfinished Business




Unfinished Business
5x7 inches
Watercolor on Paper

So this is the first self-portrait that I've done that I'm pretty pleased with.  There are some issues with it.  The right side of my face is looking pretty old...which wasn't intended but I kind of like it.  What I love most about this piece is you can really see my growth since Carol's workshop.  Take a look at the painting that I did of the same photo on the left (below.)  I did it a day before I left for the workshop and granted, it was much looser and a faster attempt but there is no question that I've grown since learning the new techniques that Carol taught me.  I can't wait to do the next....




Sunday, January 19, 2014

Carol Carter Workshop




I had a wonderful weekend!  I participated in a workshop with one of my favorite watercolor artists, Carol Carter.  We are pictured together above with my new Carol Carter alligator painting.  Carol has a unique style of painting.  She truly embraces the distinct properties of the watercolor medium. Seeing her work and learning her style of painting was both educational and inspiring.  





Carol shared hundreds of examples of her artwork with us.  The workshop took place in an old warehouse that was turned into an amazing studio.  Carrie Jadus and Mark Aeling are two of the skilled artists that work at Soft Water Studios, the St. Petersburg, Florida studio that hosted Carol's workshop.  We were able to work among forty paintings that were on display for Carol's current show, "Postcards From the Edge of Florida."  ...Talk about inspiration!


Carol had us complete two different demos - one with cantaloupe and pears; the other with beautiful bell shaped flowers.  We all learned the importance of using strong value, intense color, and LOTS of water.  


I stayed with my aunt and uncle that live in nearby, Brandon.  On Saturday night, they took me to Anna Maria Island to see a sidewalk art festival.  A few shots from the event are below.  Overall, it was a great weekend, full of art, learning, and new friends.  I want to thank Carol for being such a wonderful teacher.  She didn't hold back in any way and I feel like I learned so much.  She was patient and one of the best teachers I've ever had.  I definitely recommend that you take one of her workshops if you are ever given the opportunity.







Thursday, January 16, 2014

Code Test

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Beach Blown


Beach Blown
Watercolor on Paper
11x14 inches

I've always loved the art nouveau style but recently I've been deliberately trying to work elements of it into my art.  I kept the style in mind while composing this piece, by incorporating elements of a Hawaiian coast, a huge circular sun framing a woman, and the big hair that I've incorporated into most of my artwork lately.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sketchbook: Alex & Heather


Alex & Heather
Approx. 8x8 inches
Pencil on Paper

Another page from my sketchbook...  I know this piece needs a little more work but I'm moving on.  Today is my 34th birthday and I need time to reflect and celebrate.  It's been a good year but I'm hoping for an even better one next year!

I did this sketch from a photo of my husband and I that was taken on New Years Eve.  


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sketchbook: Football Player


Sketchbook
Approx. 4x9 inches

I got some sketch time in while watching the BCS Championship Game and the Seminoles won!  Woo hoo!

I had every intention of doing the 30 paintings in 30 days Challenge this month with some artist friends but I just couldn't finish a painting today so I did a sketch.  Hoping to sketch more this year.  I really want to improve my pencil shading skills!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Rainbow Lace


Rainbow Lace
8x10 inches
Watercolor on Paper

This was a fun one - I did the whole thing in one sitting, adding color after color quickly, before each section dried so the colors could merge and run together.  I used all 20 color on my palette, excluding the blacks and browns.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Enchanted Forest



Enchanted Forest
11x14 inches
Watercolor on Paper

What do you do when you have painters block?  You experiment!  I used multiple techniques on this piece, painting wet into wet, adding salt, rubbing alcohol, and LOTS of water.  I had fun with this one...I think I'll try more like this.

I'm willing to practically GIVE this painting away to one of my awesome followers!  I'm going to auction it off on Daily Paintworks.  Feel free to put in a bid if you're interested...it starts at $5.  I just ask for enough to cover shipping.  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Moon Struck


Moon Struck
18x28 inches
Watercolor on Paper

2013 was a great year!  I learned so much about painting this year.  It was truly a year of growth.  I feel like my skills have developed as an artist quite a bit in the past 12 months.  I've tried new things and pushed boundaries.  My goal for this next year is to continue to learn and grow as an artist.  I really want to take my skills to the next level by developing interesting compositions and by creating daily - even if it's for only 5 minutes!

"Moon Struck" is another piece inspired by my beautiful sister-in-law, Dyionna.  It's a sister painting to the "Dreams and Musings" painting that I did last month.  I've been really busy over the holidays.  I spent lots of time with family and had a lot of fun so I didn't have much time for painting but I finally finished this morning.  It's a big one!  18x28 inches!  This painting is my first painting of 2014 - here's to many more!  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dreams and Musings


Dreams and Musings
11x14 inches
Watercolor on Paper

I've been running with this wild haired woman theme for the past couple months but this piece is different...and I think it may be my favorite so far!  It was inspired by my beautiful sister-in-law, Dyionna.  Dyionna happens to be my back yard neighbor too.  She's very tall, super-model gorgeous, and married to my brother...all excellent things!  This piece was painted from a photo that she took shortly after their wedding, in her wedding gown.  I couldn't help but paint it!  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sextant


Sextant
11x14 inches
Watercolor on Paper
Inquire for pricing/availability

One of my best friends, Kim inspired this piece.  A couple weeks ago, I attempted a creative portrait of her and gave up after a couple days of pretty intense painting.  I just couldn't get it to work and eventually ended up abandoning the piece.  This was a second attempt at a painting of her and I think I did a pretty good job capturing her likeness from a random photograph that I found of her on Facebook profile.

The symbolism in this piece really means a lot to me.  Swallow tattoos on sailors historically show off their sailing experience. Each swallow represents 5,000 nautical miles. The pose/look in her eyes looks seductive and/or love smitten, like a siren. The title, which was recommended by my friend, Davey, seems to tie all of it together.  A "sextant" is used for marine navigation by measuring celestial bodies.  And in Davey's words, "You certainly have a celestial body there, and it would imply that she is guiding a sailor's heart to home."  Love it!  Thanks for the inspiration, Kim and Davey!!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Orlando Skyline



Orlando Skyline
8.5x14 inches
Watercolor on Paper
Click Here to Buy

This is a big departure from what I've been working on lately but I found an odd size piece of scrap paper and felt compelled to painting the Orlando skyline so wallah!  Here it is!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wild Haired Scream


Scream
11x14 inches
Watercolor on Paper

Here's another wild haired woman to add to the collection.  My friend, Raina donated the reference photo for this piece.  I asked her to take some photos of herself so I could paint her and she sent me several.  They were all so funny.  She has the most expressive face!  This screaming face is really out of character for Raina.  She is one of the funniest people I know - so much fun to be around!  I really loved creating this painting.  I painted most of it wet into wet.  I can't wait to do more with the same technique.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Wild Haired Amor



Amor
11x14 inches
Watercolor on Paper

The next painting in my "Wild Haired Women" series: Amor.  This painting was modeled after a reference photo of my sister-in-law, Darby.  She is one of the most beautiful people I know, both inside and out.  She has brought so much love to our family.  I think the hearts in her hair really tie in well with her personality.  She is a big believer in love - agape love to be specific.  We've been through a lot in the years that I've known her and I'm thankful to call her a dear family member and friend.

I'm enjoying this series.  It has been fun to do portraits lately and I love that they are non-traditional.  I'm looking forward to seeing where the next piece takes me.  Have a great weekend, all!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Church Street Art & Jazz Festival

Last weekend I was asked to fill in for an artist that couldn't make it to the Church Street Art & Jazz Festival in Downtown Orlando.  I had been pulling together resources for a booth for months but hadn't had the opportunity to actually put one up so I jumped at the opportunity.  

Saturday was a rainy day and we were concerned that the event would be cancelled but we set up anyway and I'm glad we did.  It was a great opportunity to meet Orlando area artists, listen to great music, and I even sold some original artwork.  A huge thank you goes out to my husband for helping me set up and tear down for the event and TrezMark Harris for making me feel so welcome.  

Here are some photos of my very first art festival booth!





Saturday, November 2, 2013

Daisy


Daisy
6x6
Watercolor on Paper
Sold

I love the way the petals seem to burst out in this piece.  I fell in love with the photo when I saw it pop up in my newsfeed one day.  My mom's childhood friend, Barb Wagner took it.  She is a wonderful photographer. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wild Haired Sarena


Wild Haired Sarena
11x14 inches
Watercolor on Paper
Inquire for Purchase Details

Meet Sarena!  I was very close to tossing this piece.  In the beginning, I was really unhappy with the way it was turning out.  The face looked distorted and I couldn't quite get the proportions right but I stuck with it and I'm pretty pleased with the end result.  I'm actually thinking of doing a series of paintings with a similar theme.  

I guess you could say this is a version of a self-portrait.  I used a reference photo of myself, not really with the intention to make it look like me but more for guidance on proportion and shading.  When I posted it to my Facebook page, several friends recognized me in the image.  I had fun with this piece!  I can't wait to do more wild haired ladies.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Illustrated Children's Book is Now Available!


My first illustrated children's book: "My Dad is in Jail"
Written by: Amber M. Ryan


A few months ago, I was approached by my childhood friend, Amber, with an idea.  She wanted me to illustrate a children's book.  I was a little hesitant at first.  I had never illustrated a book and knew it would take a tremendous amount of time to complete.  I knew it was a huge commitment but I told her to send it over anyway for my review.  Once I had the opportunity to read it, I knew it was something I HAD to do.  "My Dad is in Jail" is a book that sets out to normalize a topic that most adults have a difficult time understanding and accepting.

It the topic controversial?  Yes.  Will it raise some eye brows?  Probably.  But I don't care.  Think of all the children out there that have parents that are incarcerated.  They are forced to live in a single parent household, desperately missing the relationship once had with a father in their daily life.  Being a parent and seeing the close relationship my children have with their father helped me realize how much they would be missing if their dad was in jail.

I'm thankful Amber approached me with this idea and I hope our book will play a small role in helping children accept a situation that is out of their control and so is difficult to understand.  If you know a child that has a father that is incarcerated, this is the perfect book for them.  It's available on Amazon and Kindle  - learn more here: http://www.amazon.com/My-Dad-Is-In-Jail/dp/0615897568/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1383065552&sr=8-4&keywords=dad+is+in+jail+book

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Barb's Thistle

Barb's Thistle
6x6 inches
Watercolor on Paper
Gifted

This is the winner of my photo contest!  A few weeks ago I had a photo contest on my Facebook page.  Many people participated - they posted beautiful photos on my page and when all was said and done, I had to choose one.  I had no clue how difficult that would be. There were so many different and gorgeous photos to choose from...but I did and this was it.  It was a photo taken by Barb Wagner.  Thank you, Barb and all of the wonderful Facebook buddies that participated in the contest.  I'll be sending this painting off to Barb soon!
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